Did you know that obesity can harm your kidney function? Obesity has been shown to increase the risk of developing renal failure. But that's not all – obesity can lead to other urology problems, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. This article explores how morbid obesity can generate multiple urologic conditions.

What is Obesity, and How Can it Cause Other Health Issues?

There are many reasons why obesity is a problem. Obesity increases the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Obesity can also lead to reproductive problems in both men and women, and it can cause difficulties during pregnancy, respiratory issues and joint pain.

Body mass index, or BMI, is a measure of obesity. BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

Obesity costs the United States healthcare system $147 billion per year. That's more than smoking, alcohol abuse, or automobile accidents! The cost of obesity is primarily due to the increased risk for chronic diseases that obese individuals are more likely to develop.

Obesity can Have a Variety of Consequences

  • The percentage of overweight and obese Americans increased from 42.1 percent in March 2000 to 41.9 percent in March 2020.
  • Between 1999 and 2020, the obesity rate in the United States increased from 30.5 percent to 41.9 percent. The prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2% during the same period (1999-2000 through March 2020).
  • Obesity-related medical expenses in the United States are expected to be about $173 billion in 2019 dollars. Adult obesity patients had medical expenditures that were $1,861 greater than adult healthy-weight individuals.
  • Obesity affects the health of millions of individuals in the United States, with Non-Hispanic Black (49.9%), Hispanic people (45.6%), non-Hispanic White people (41.4%), and non-Hispanic Asian people (16.1%) having the highest age-adjusted prevalence rates among adults aged 20 and older.
  • The percentage of adults who are overweight or obese was 39.8 percent aged 20 to 39 years, 44.3% aged 40 to 59 years, and 41.5% among those aged 60 and older.

How does Obesity affect Kidney Function?

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine. They are responsible for filtering the blood and removing waste products from the body. Kidney function is vital for overall health, and obesity can harm kidney function.

Studies have shown that obesity increases the risk of developing Kidney renal failure. In addition, obesity can cause the kidneys to work harder than average, leading to decreased kidney function.

There are many ways to improve kidney function, including diet and exercise. Making healthy changes to your lifestyle can help reduce the risk for renal failure in obese patients.

What other Urologic Problems can come from Obesity?

Obesity can lead to other urologic problems, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Urinary incontinence is a common problem in obese patients. The extra weight can pressure the bladder, leading to involuntary urination. 

Erectile dysfunction is another common problem in obese patients. The extra fat around the waist can compress the blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the penis, leading to difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection.

What Treatments are Available for Obesity-Related Urologic Conditions?

There are many treatments available for obesity-related kidney conditions. If you are experiencing kidney problems, it is crucial to seek medical help.

There are several treatments available for Kidney (renal) failure. One standard treatment is dialysis, which uses a machine to clean the blood. Dialysis can help improve kidney function and extend the life of the patient. 

Another standard treatment for Kidney (renal) failure is surgery. Surgery can be used to remove the damaged portion of the kidney or to place a machine in the body to help with kidney function.

Some lifestyle changes can also help improve kidney function in obese patients. Diet and exercise are two significant lifestyle changes that can help improve overall health and reduce the risk of renal failure.

Treatments for urinary incontinence include pelvic floor muscle exercises, weight loss, and surgery. Surgery may be recommended if other treatments have failed to provide relief.

Treatments for erectile dysfunction include lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, medications, and surgery. Medications such as phosphodiesterase inhibitors (such as sildenafil) can effectively treat erectile dysfunction. Surgery may be recommended if other treatments have failed to provide relief.

What is the Future of Obesity Research?

While obesity is a growing problem in the United States, there is still much to learn about its effects on the body.

According to data presented at the 2022 American Urological Association annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, one-third of men and women have hypogonadism. They used an extensive multicenter electronic health record network of 44 healthcare organizations. Colleagues conducted a comparative cohort study among individuals stratified by BMI — less than 25, 25-30, 30-35, 35-40, and more than 40 - as well as metabolic syndrome presence to determine the prevalence of common urologic diseases.

A BMI of 40 (morbid obesity) was linked to 1.3 times and 1.3 times greater odds of stone disease and kidney cancer. As well as, 1.8, 1.4, and 3 multiple higher chances of overactive bladder (OAB), ED, and hypogonadism, compared with a BMI less than 25; were reported. 

More research is needed to determine the best ways to treat obesity-related urologic conditions.

Mississippi Urology Clinic Can Help Urologic Conditions

Mississippi Urology Clinic can help with your diagnosis and treatment, please feel free to contact us and set up an appointment with one of our professional Urologists.